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Coronavirus stops MTA’s efforts to prevent OT fraud: watchdog



Coronavirus stops MTA's efforts to prevent OT fraud: watchdog

The corona virus pandemic has stopped MTA’s efforts to prevent overtime fraud after the crisis put high-tech time clocks into quarantine, agency watchdogs said Monday.

The Office of Inspector General Carolyn Pokorny said in a new report it was “concerned” about the delay in integrating fingerprint scanning gadgets that were billed as repairs to combat widespread allegations of widespread abuse.

Transit officials in mid-March decided to shut down the new Kronos timekeeping system in an effort to combat the spread of COVID-19.

But this had a “negative and significant impact on the standardization of timeliness using Kronos and its integration with the existing payroll system,” according to IG’s recent review of the MTA PL reduction effort.

“The delay in this critical aspect of overtime reform efforts concerns OIG,” the report continued. “We question how long it will last and what plans are in place to ensure that efforts continue to move forward.”

The launch of the MTA from the new watch – which was supposed to replace the old paper card – was already full of delays.

After first promising to have all 40,000 workers on hours last September, only about 85 percent of workers actively used technology in mid-January.

Further complicating matters, the MTA faces “apparent acts of vandalism” against the machine, the IG office previously said – with many found destroyed or damaged.

IT Agency staff have projected that Kronos will fully join the existing punctuality system by the end of 2021.

When the virus began wreaking havoc in New York City, staff were forced to direct their time and resources to support employees working from home – also possibly delaying targets for full Kronos payroll integration.

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Pokorny began investigating allegations of overtime harassment at MTA after a series of Post’s exposure to LIRR workers who drew large salaries, including one staff member who earned $ 344,147 overtime – on top of his $ 117,499 salary.

Pokorny’s office accused the agent of allowing workers to install OTs under an “honor system” with little supervision or verification.

MTA spent $ 1.3 billion in overtime last year, according to agency documents – up from $ 895 million in 2014.

Compared to last year, the agency – which faces a $ 4 billion deficit projected due to a pandemic – has cut the PL tab by 24 percent, the IG office said.

But the cut was “not driven by factors that MTA can rely on to produce savings in the future.”

“Health problems, changes and general uncertainty about whether technology investment will remain a priority threatens the completion of this improvement,” IG said.

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Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.



Portuguese historical films will premiere on 29 December.

Method Media Bermuda will present the documentary FABRIC: Portuguese History in Bermuda on Thursday, December 29 at the Underwater Research Institute of Bermuda.

A spokesperson said: “Method Media is proud to bring Bermuda Fabric: Portugal History to Bermuda for its 5th and 6th showing at the Bermuda Underwater Observatory. In November and December 2019, Cloth: A Portuguese Story in Bermuda had four sold-out screenings. Now that Bermuda has reopened after the pandemic, it’s time to bring the film back for at least two screenings.

“There are tickets For $ 20 – sessions at 15:30 and 18:00. Both screenings will be followed by a short Q&A session.

Director and producer Milton Raboso says, “FABRIC is a definitive account of the Portuguese community in Bermuda and its 151 years of history, but it also places Bermuda, Acors and Portugal in the world history and the events that have fueled those 151 years.

“It took more than 10 years to implement FABRIC. The film was supported by the Minister of Culture, the Government of the Azores and private donors.

Bermuda Media Method [MMB] Created in 2011 by producer Milton Raposo. MMB has created content for a wide range of clients: Bermuda’s new hospital renovation, reinsurance, travel campaigns, international sports and more. MMB pays special attention to artistic, cultural and historical content.

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Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.



Maestro de Braga is the first Portuguese in the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba.

Maestro Filipe Cunha, Artistic Director of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Braga, has been invited to conduct the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra, as announced today.

According to a statement sent by O MINHO, “he will be the first Portuguese conductor to conduct this orchestra in its entire history.”

In addition to this orchestra, the maestro will also work with the Lyceo Mozarteum de la Habana Symphony Orchestra.

The concerts will take place on 4 and 12 March 2023 at the National Theater of Cuba in Havana.

In the words of the maestro, quoted in the statement, “these will be very beautiful concerts with difficult but very complex pieces” and therefore he feels “very motivated”.

From the very beginning, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2 will be performed by an Italian pianist (Luigi Borzillo), whom the maestro wants to bring to Portugal later this year. In the same concert, Mendelshon’s First Symphony will be performed.

Then, at the second concert, in the company of the Mexican clarinetist Angel Zedillo, he will perform the Louis Sfora Concerto No. 2. In this concert, the maestro also conducts Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony.

“This is an international recognition of my work. An invitation that I accept with humility and great responsibility. I was surprised to learn that I would be the first Portuguese member of the Cuban National Symphony Orchestra. This is a very great honor,” the maestro said in a statement.

“I take with me the name of the city of Braga and Portugal with all the responsibility that goes with it, and I hope to do a good job there, leaving a good image and putting on great concerts. These will be very special concerts because, in addition to performing pieces that I love, especially Rachmaninov and Tchaikovsky, I will be directing two wonderful soloists who are also my friends. It will be very beautiful,” concludes Filipe Cunha.

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